This week the spotlight is on Tara Khorzad. Having designed for many brands since she graduated, in 2017 she decided to set up her own business. Designing prints for other businesses on a freelance basis, she considered this a hobby or a way to express herself. With years of hard work, she was eventually able to quit her day job and focus on her dream full time.
Not for the faint hearted, Tara’s designs are breaking the fashion mould, with colour and pattern clashing there is nothing off limits. Tara claims her designs are so graphic they stop traffic – find out what else she had to say about her journey.
Why did you decide to apply for the Blueprint for All X Urban Outfitters marketplace?
I remember the first time I discovered Urban Outfitters was when I was an art school student in Glasgow. It was the most inspiring high street store I’d ever seen, and I loved the variety of styles and how they carried so many fun brands. I have always wanted to be stocked there, so when I saw the marketplace opportunity, I knew I just had to apply! The teenage Urban fan girl in me couldn’t believe it when it happened!
What are your plans for the future?
Being a part of the Blueprint for All and Urban Outfitters collaboration has made me excited to do more pop-up events for sure. It was so lovely to chat with existing customers and to meet so many new ones! The reaction from the public was amazing and has given me lots of confidence to do more going forward.
More long-term, once I have the budget, I’d love to set up my own in-house studio manufacturing, as I want to be more involved in the making process. This will also make sampling quicker, which will help the creative process. It will also help me to manage the stock levels easier and will help me to introduce more sizes.
What is your advice for anyone wanting to start up their own business?
Make sure that whatever you do it is something you absolutely love and are obsessed with, as that’ll be what’s going to keep you going when challenges hit. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s so worth it. Be prepared to learn a lot about yourself and to adapt. Check out what your local council has in terms of business support. There are some amazing programs with local universities to help support you with mentorship programs and paid interns.
What has been the most challenging thing about starting up your business and how have you overcome this?
It has been a challenge to prioritise my mental health and to not overwork myself, as it’s pretty much just me working on the brand, (outside of the manufacturing which I outsource, and my mum helps me one day per week now, which I’m super grateful for!). I am glad to say I’m getting better at taking time off when I need it and I’m getting better at managing the stresses of doing the jobs of what should be a team of at least 5!
What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?
My dream for the brand is for it to be available to everyone. It has been difficult to expand my size range while everything is made to minimum quantities by my manufacturer. I’ve slowly started introducing more sizes to some styles, as well as custom order openings for plus sizes and I’m currently reviewing ways of working to include more sizes.
Are you interested in seeing Tara’s designs? Here is where you can find her…